Many businesses have already realized the benefits of implementing automated invoicing processes. Those benefits can vary from company to company, but generally include greater accuracy and speed in processing invoices, process- and cost-efficiencies that can directly affect the company’s bottom line. Surprisingly, some companies are still hesitant to embrace automation when it comes to invoice processing and other accounting and financial functions. There are four main reasons for this reticence:
- Change is Hard
Some companies simply fear change, wanting to instead keep using the same manual processes they’ve been using for decades to approve and manage invoices. However, manually managing invoices is inefficient at best. Invoices can languish in someone’s inbox or sit on their desk for days at a time while the approver is out of the office, or they can be lost in the process. In contrast, when a company embraces digital workflows and document management processes, you control the flow of invoices and other documents and have real-time visibility into the approval status. That means you can identify any backlogs or potential problems and address them before they become significant delays.
- Misconception about Staffing Needs
Many organizations mistakenly believe they need more staff, or at least more technically-savvy staff, to use automated invoicing. In reality, you can implement electronic document management and automated workflows with minimal IT staff. That’s because you don’t need to buy and maintain complicated hardware or servers on your end. And, when software updates are needed, your vendor – not your IT staff – handles all of the heavy lifting, with minimal disruptions to your business.
Because automated invoicing can dramatically increase your accounting and finance department’s efficiency, it’s also possible your staffing needs in that area will decrease too.
- Belief that the Firm Doesn’t Have Needed Resources to Implement Automated Invoicing
When you implement automated workflows for invoicing and electronic document management, the vendor will work closely with you to make the process as simple as possible. Because this type of solution is designed to work with your existing systems, your employees don’t need to learn entirely new ways of doing their work. Instead, automated invoicing will make doing their jobs easier. No need for days-long training sessions.
- Concern that the Implementation Costs will Outweigh the Benefits
As is true with almost any type of process improvement, there is a cost associated with implementing automated workflows for invoicing and other processes. However, the long-term cost benefits your company can realize far outweigh the initial expense.
Organizations that adopt automated invoicing realize cost savings from making their processes more efficient and effective. Those efficiencies go beyond the initial processing for invoices. For example, if you need to later retrieve past invoices, there’s no need for someone to waste time digging through manual files or searching through network folders. Instead, invoices and other documents are available with just a few mouse clicks.
In addition, you will be in a better position to track and manage invoice due dates (avoiding costly late fees), take advantage of early payment discounts and other savings that can directly impact your budget.